By John Krist and Linda Parks

A large part of Ventura County’s charm and beauty is due to the persistence of its robust agricultural community, which cultivates a rich landscape of fields and orchards. Unlike most of urban and suburban Southern California, our cities and rural communities have distinct identities, surrounded and separated by this tapestry of farmland instead of running together into one big blur of development.

We owe this in part to judicious land-use policies and laws. For decades, local policymakers and the voters who elect them have made a deliberate effort to focus population growth and development in a way that protects agricultural land from being overwhelmed by urban sprawl. There have been missteps along the way, to be sure. But it’s hard to argue with the overall results; as residents of this remarkable region we enjoy them every day.

It takes much more than laws and policies, however, to maintain local agriculture…..

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